Colleen L. Reece was born and raised in a home without electricity or running water but filled with love for God and family. Colleen learned to read by kerosene lamplight and dreamed of someday writing a book. God multiplied her “someday” book into 150 “Books You Can Trust,” with six million copies sold. She considers herself an ordinary person with an extraordinary God.
Welcome to my blog, Colleen. This novel has two Christmas stories in one book. Please tell us about this Christmas novel.
Christmas Calling, co-authored with my dear friend Birdie L. Etchison, offers two heartwarming Christmas novellas: my Christmas Challenge (historical) and Birdie’s Christmas Snow (contemporary). The love stories are as mystifying as a white-out, as sweet as homemade cookies. Only by the grace of God can two troubled couples weather the storms of life and find true love.
Ahhhh… true love! Where did you get your inspiration for this book?
All of my stories contain elements from real life and many are based on actual incidents. I have strong feelings of family loyalty and a hatred for injustice, both foundation blocks for Christmas Challenge. My small town upbringing and living in a one-room school where my mother once taught all eight grades contributed a great deal to the heroine’s accepting a challenge to prove the pioneer spirit was still alive in the late 1800s.
What kind of research did you have to do?
Life in rural Montana in the 1880s. I had already set other stories there so this wasn’t as hard as might be expected.
Please tell us about the main character in this story and what you love about her.
Valerie O’Shea is dear to my heart. She has the same kind of ancestors I do. Valerie and her father came to America on a coffin boat to escape the Irish potato famine. My great-grandparents went to a small, western Washington logging town in the early 1900s and built the first church—there was nothing there but seven saloons, a grocery store, and a one-room school.
I heard about that potato famine and what a hardship it was. Now it’s time to tell us something about the real you that we’ll never forget.
God continues to restore my energy after chemo, a mastectomy, chemo, and radiation in the last two years. My side effects were minimal compared with what is normal. The medical personnel at St. Francis in Federal Way, WA call me their miracle patient. I came home the day after surgery and never had to take a pain or nausea pill—and I just turned 79.
I haven’t been able to do much writing, but God supplies my needs and gives me endless opportunities to witness. When my medical personnel say, “You are awesome,” I reply, “No. God is awesome. I am grateful.” I am. The past two years have taught me to trust Him in and for everything and encourage others to do the same.
Wow! You are a woman of great faith and have endured a lot. Thanks for this wonderful interview, Colleen. To buy a hard copy, go to Amazon. To buy an e-book, go to Amazon.